Please welcome Margaret Fieland to the blog today. Thanks for joining us, Margaret!
What kind of books do you read for fun?
If it’s printed, I’ll read it. Seriously, I’m a terrible book junkie, and I get withdrawal symptoms if I don’t have a large stack waiting to be read. I love my library — I can borrow up to ten e-books at a time. My kids gave me a Kindle Fire for my birthday last year, and I love it.
I read a lot of romance, a lot of science fiction, and a fair amount of young adult books of various genres. I occasionally read mysteries. I read a lot of poetry, some biography and general non-fiction.
What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
Air. Water. Food.
I remember reading Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, which features, among other things, a sentient computer named Mike. In the book, which takes place on the Moon, you pay for air. I’ve never forgotten it.
It’s a fun book, well worth checking out if you’ve never read it.
If a genie granted you three wishes, what would they be?
Gads! I’m very wary of having three wishes granted, because everything has side effects, and I can’t know what the effects of my wishes would be. Wishes are dangerous things.
That said, I’d wish for good health, an end to financial difficulties, and for my next novel to become a best-seller.
What is best writing advice you can give?
Learn your craft. The rules may be made to be broken, but IMO you really have to ‘get’ them first. That includes grammar, punctuation, and the like, as well as conventions around point-of-view and the like.
I started writing fiction by accident. I was writing poetry exclusively at the time, but I joined a writing forum that required everyone to write fiction as well. I started with children’s fiction, under the mistaken impression it was easier. Ha. But I got hooked on writing fiction, and I’ve been at it ever since.
Can you share a little about your current release with us?
My latest release is called Broken Bonds. It’s about a major in the Federation Guard who is posted to be in charge of a base on an alien planet. The Terran Federation and the Aleyni have an uneasy relationship, to say the least. There are two previous novels in the series, but both are Young Adult novels.
When I started the first one, Relocated, my middle son was in the army, stationed in Afghanistan. Hence, the hostile relationship with the Aleyni and the desert environment.
Here’s an extended blurb:
Sex with aliens? How about romance with aliens? A treason accusation? Brad Reynolds has his hands full. When Major Brad Reynolds is assigned to head the Terran Federation base on planet Aleyne, the last thing he expects to find is love, and certainly not with one of the alien Aleyni. How can he keep his lover, in the face of political maneuvering and of Ardaval’s feelings for his former partners — and theirs for him?
Brad took a deep breath of cool night air, inhaling the nutmeg scent of the flowers planted around Ardaval’s front door. Before Brad could knock, the door opened and Ardaval stood in the doorway. Brad hesitated before putting out his hands palm up.
Ardaval placed his hands over Brad’s. “My heart, my home, my hearth.”
“My hearth, my home, my heart,” Brad murmured in response.
Smiling, Ardaval directed his gaze at Brad’s eyes; it evoked the same curious flutter in the pit of his stomach as the last time they’d met. Ardaval held open the door and gestured for Brad to enter. “You’ve come to discuss Gavin.”
“I have.” Brad followed Ardaval into the front hall where tiles of local stone sparkled on the floor and a padded bench stood under a window. Through a doorway on one side, a glance revealed a kitchen furnished with dark wood cabinets, clean and a bit bare.
“Come.” Ardaval gestured toward the back of the hallway where a doorway led into a center courtyard, open to the cool night air, and motioned to a small table. A red-leafed tree in the center spread its leaves overhead. Brad sat, and Ardaval sat beside him.
Brad needed to talk about Gavin Frey’s political views. Views that, as far as he could tell from the records, were the opposite of his own. A breath brought him the scent of Ardaval’s skin, musky, with a hint of clove. Was it duty or cowardice keeping him from reaching for Ardaval’s hand and kissing the palm?
Ardaval clasped Brad’s hand in his. “Tell me more about why you were posted to Aleyne.”
Should he remove his hand? No. He enjoyed Ardaval’s touch and what was the harm, really? When he glanced up, he found Ardaval regarding him with evident amusement.
“I recommended that a man who used psi to save his squad be given a dishonorable discharge.” Brad hesitated. “Although the soldier deserved a medal rather than a court martial, he was a fool to admit he caught a thought.”
“About Gavin Frey. Is he your shan?” The thoughts slipped out.
Ardaval stared into Brad’s eyes for a a second or two before he replied. “As you surmise, he is my son; my shan, because I didn’t raise him.”
Might as well ask this, too. “His mother never told you about him?”
Ardaval shook his head. “No, she didn’t. He spent six months here after she died. Then we disagreed over a matter of ethical principal and he left.”
Given what he understood about Frey, Brad would have been surprised if they hadn’t.
“He married, but his wife died. He has a son who is now fourteen by Terran Standard years.”
“His mother possessed a strong psi talent.”
“She contacted you?” Brad’s eyebrows rose to his hairline.
“She did. I suggest you keep an eye on the boy.”
“Do you believe he has gazal?” If the boy developed Aleyni mind speech abilities, he’d need careful watching. Brad’s own family had been fairly accepting but how would Frey react if he discovered his son possessed gazal? And what about the terrorists, who might try to exploit Keth’s talent?
Ardaval nodded. “I do, though of course we’ve never met. Gavin doesn’t, or at least if he does, he keeps his mind so locked down it’s the same thing.”
Brad sighed and rose. He’d completed what he’d said he’d come to do.
“It happens this way with us, at times.” Ardaval paused for a moment. “We’ll meet again.”
Brad turned to leave. He couldn’t ignore this connection, wish it away, any longer. Only Ardaval’s assurance kept him moving out the door.
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